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A RECORD FOR THE DUCHESS’ JEWELS: Sotheby’s sale of pieces from the late Duchess of Windsor’s jewelry collection in London Tuesday night fetched 7,975,550 pounds, or $12.4 million at current exchange, more than double the original 3 million pound, or $4.7 million, estimate. The highlight of the auction was the Cartier onyx and diamond panther bracelet designed by Jeanne Toussaint in 1952, which sold for 4,521,250 pounds, or $7 million, its price driven up by two competing telephone bidders. A spokeswoman for Sotheby’s said the price fetched by the bracelet was a record for a piece of Cartier jewelry at auction and a record for any bracelet at auction. Another highlight of the sale, the ruby, sapphire, emerald, citrine and diamond flamingo clip mounted by Cartier in 1940, was acquired by Collection Cartier for 1,721,250 million pounds, or $2.7 million.
The 20 pieces were sold by a single owner, and returned to the market after originally being part of the 1987 auction of Wallis Simpson’s jewels in Geneva. Sotheby’s did not comment on who sold the pieces.